Home » L Aquila 2009 » G8 2009 english  


Watch also...


G8 protesters arrested

ITALIAN police have made around 40 arrests as protests against the upcoming G8 summit saw demonstrators hurl bottles and set fire to tyres on the streets of Rome, officials and witnesses said.

The flare-up in violence came outside the University of Rome today where protesters, some of whom were masked or hooded, chucked bottles and stones towards police vehicles as several dozen riot squad officers gathered.

"Everything that should have been done to ensure the security of the G8 has been done," Italy's Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said.

"We will be attentive and we will be careful to ensure freedom of expression, but if someone is thinking of bringing sticks or ballbearings to demonstrations, we will do everything to prevent them," warned the minister.

According to a police spokesman, a total of 36 people, including 27 Italians, were arrested in Rome during the course of the morning.

Among the others arrested were four Swedes, two Germans and nationals from Switzerland, France and Poland and a number of weapons, including baseball bats, were seized.

Watched by a heavy police presence, around 500 demonstrators filed peacefully through the city in a second demonstration today after gathering close to the United States embassy.

"Everybody has the right to protest, to make their voice heard, provided they do so in accordance with the law," said Gianni Alemanno, the mayor of Rome.

Police also stopped five French nationals, aged between 25 and 35, close to the summit venue in the city of L'Aquila who were found with several clubs.

The group were briefly detained for possessing weapons but were later released.

Around 15,000 police have been mobilised to provide security during the three-day summit which begins tomorrow in L'Aquila, a city around two hours' drive from Rome which was devastated by an earthquake in April.

As well as leaders from the Group of Eight major industrialised nations, around 20 other heads of state will also be attending.

The conduct of the Italian police will be under close scrutiny with memories still raw over the fatal shooting of a demonstrator at Genoa in 2001 when Italy last hosted the G8 leaders.

Source: http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25750263-5005961,00.html